Officer Campus – 27 June 2019


Reminder: The first day back of Term 3 is Tuesday 16 July. Monday 15 July is a student free day allowing for teaching collaboration on curriculum development.


Siblings starting Year 7 in 2021

The College is now processing enrolments for Year 7 2021. If you have a child who will be enrolling at the College for Year 7 2021 and you have not yet submitted an application form, please click here to download a form, or alternatively a form can be picked up from any Campus Reception.

Enrolment forms must be completed and returned to the College by 26 July 2019 to secure your child’s place for 2021.

Enrolment Interviews for these students will be taking place at the end of August 2019.


Outstanding Citizenship

We are proud to acknowledge Tyreece Heather-Sheen and Deng Kiir, who bravely stopped the robbery and assault of a man at McDonald’s Officer. They were given a commendation from the Victoria Police for their efforts, along with a $50 voucher.

We are immensely proud of these boys, not only for being great ambassadors for the College, and but for being outstanding people to have in our Community.


Inquiry Evening Success

Thank you to the parents and families who came along to the Year 9 Inquiry Evening. I have included a few photos from the night to give you a sense of the calibre of student work.


Leading Senior Constable, Catherine Emmett – Cardinia Youth Resource Officer – The Role of the Police

Illegal activities that young people engage in can affect the rest of their lives. Young people can make mistakes, but as the Cardinia Youth Resource Officer, Catherine Emmett explained, it is important to understand the law. That might help you to take the right path. Who can commit an offence? Any person over the age of ten. Even at school, if you punch someone, you can be charged with assault. Even on the football field, if you hit someone behind the play, you can be charged with assault. Even if you think you are just mucking around, if a person is injured, you can be charged with assault. The College has a Hands Off Policy for a reason.

Cyberbullying is a repeated action, with an intention to cause harm, intimidate or embarrass. Often this is directed towards another person or group with less power. Examples include spreading personal information about others and harassing people. If you are being bullied, know how to report it. Advice for parents and carers on helping your child have safe and enjoyable experiences online can be found here.

Emmett outlined the consequences for criminal activity. These include a warning, arrest, interview, court caution and criminal record. Illegal activities that young people engage in can affect the rest of their lives.


Road Safety

Students are encouraged to take care when crossing the road before and after school. During the week, I received a communication from a concerned neighbour who described some students rushing across the road in front of an on-coming car. Please have a conversation with your son or daughter in relation to road safety. VicRoads has various initiatives designed to help people be safe and responsible pedestrians. For specific pedestrian road rules see the pedestrian road rules page.


Gratitude – There are so Many Reasons to be Thankful Today

The research behind gratitude is clear – incorporating a simple act of gratitude into your day will have a big impact on your life. Gratitude can impact our mental health; the quality of our relationships and it also helps us to sleep.

When I woke up this morning it was dark and there was a heavy fog. When I stepped onto the grass at the park the grass crunched below my feet it was so icy. It was such a great start to the day. I was grateful for the feeling of the cold on my face and for the change to go for a run with my dog, Maggie.

Last week, before the House Masses, I went to the Pakenham Library to listen to Abe Nouk, a Sudanese-born slam poet, MC and author. Abe was illiterate when he and family arrived in Australia in 2004. When I saw him speak at the Pakenham Library, his message was clear, When things are not getting better, you have to get better. It is important to keep your spirits up because everywhere, there is the recognition of joy, hope, energy and freedom. When you give all you have, fortunes come to you. I learnt many things from Abe’s presentation and I have much to be grateful for in my life.

I am grateful for the support of our community at St Francis Xavier College: Abe said, the sense of joy comes from community. The people who benefit from what you have to offer only become apparent over time. This is the case for our teachers who always offer support, care and encouragement for our students.

I am grateful for the support of loved ones: My Mum is wise, and she has made me see that anything is possible. When I attended the Year 9 Inquiry Evening last week, I loved chatting to our parents and hearing their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations for your learning. I am lucky to have the support of my family and this has always encouraged me to push outside my comfort zone.

I am grateful for my education: The joy that I have developed from language is enormous. I can’t believe that libraries are free. Literature and stories have helped me learn all sorts of things. You would see, from the regular contributions of Lauren Murphy, that we have a thriving and dynamic library (Learning Resource Centre) here at Officer Campus.

Abe Nouk – Author, Slam Poet and MC


Year 7 Music Concert

Well done to Damien Bennett and team for the Year 7 Music Concert on Monday. The Concert showcased plenty of enthusiastic performers and there are many possibilities for future growth of music across the Campus in the coming years.


Student of the Term

Congratulations to the following students who were awarded Student of the Term in Term 2:



Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday. Thank you to our staff and students for such a productive and enjoyable term.

Lisa Harkin – Deputy Principal – Head of Campus


National Refugee Week 16 – 22 June

Australia has a long history of receiving people who fled their homelands for reasons varying from economic hardship, to ethnic or religious discrimination or even political repression and persecution. What would Australia be today without those forced migrants who were brought here initially as convicts? These people built our first roads and public buildings and, once emancipated, many of our first farms and towns. Or, think of the impact on our history and society of the Irish who came here initially as convicts and then as refugees fleeing political and religious persecution and the horrors of the mass starvation and evictions of the Famine years in Ireland.

We can only imagine an Australia now without the influence of the Italians, Greeks and other Europeans who fled the horrors of World War II, to make their homes here in Australia and enrich our developing culture, or of the wonderful diversity of migrants and refugees who came to Australia from Asia, the middle East and from Africa.

Australia is a country made from the hopes and dreams of those fleeing from all types of discrimination, persecution or deprivation. Unfortunately, those refugees who have enriched our culture so deeply were not always welcomed. Initially the indigenous peoples of Australia were dispossessed and marginalised, then the incoming Irish were frowned upon for their perceived untrustworthiness and Catholicity. The Irish were frowned upon for their perceived untrustworthiness and catholicity, Australians were initially suspicious of the Europeans who came following the war and the Asians and other migrants who were not seen as truly Australian. This was reflected in the longstanding White Australia Policy. These tensions and suspicions are still visible here today in the way the media portrays the Muslim, Middle Eastern and African refugees who have come to Australia fleeing unimaginable repression, persecution or poverty seeking better opportunities.

At times like this, here at Officer Campus, we celebrate these elements of our community. We remember that in the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, we read the story of the Flight into Egypt in which, following the birth of Jesus, an angel of the Lord comes to Joseph in a dream and warns him to leave Bethlehem for Egypt (Matthew 2: 12 – 15) because King Herod was planning to seek out the child to destroy him. Therefore, Jesus’ earliest years according to Matthew, were spent as a refugee in a foreign land, and then as a displaced person in a village a long way from his family’s original home.

We see Christ in all people and as Christians we welcome all people as neighbours. It is important for us to remember that Jesus welcomed all people to himself, the marginalised, the outcasts and those who have been rejected by society. He provided for us all an example of how to embrace and care for those who are in need. This is an aspect that we as a Christian and a catholic community must remember is fundamental to who we are and what we stand for. Let us celebrate the richness that refugees offer to us and let us reach out to the displaced with open arms. As Christ instructs us, The truth is, anything you did for any of my people here, you also did for me (Matthew 25: 40).

Liam Doherty – Religious Education Coordinator


Numeracy Intervention Program Update

We are almost at the end of our Pilot Numeracy Intervention Program. The aim of this program is to focus on building fundamental math skills for these students, which will strengthen the foundation for their future learning of mathematics. I strongly believe that the most effective way to teach mathematics, particularly for students who perceive themselves as “bad” at the subject, is to build confidence and work on reducing math related anxiety.

The self-esteem of the students in this program has improved significantly. Whilst apprehensive at first to even ask a question in class, now these students fearlessly tackle difficult math problems on the board in front of their peers, because they know they are in a safe place. By working through their discomfort together they have broken down the wall that has previously prevented them from growing mathematically.

Two classes have participated in this trial; a class of 12 students and a class of seven students. The class of 12 began the program with an average growth rate of 72% and currently has a growth rate of 167%. The class of seven began with an average growth rate of 50% and currently has a growth rate of 147%. For perspective, 100% growth equates to a year worth of learning in mathematics. With one test to go, students are well on their way to achieving a pathway into VCE mathematics should they choose to continue with the subject.

Currently all Year 9 students in the program have achieved a level which correlates to effective life skill mathematics, which is an enormous achievement. Above all else, it has been a great pleasure for me to watch these students improve in confidence, motivation and engagement in math class. They are beginning to see what they can achieve when they leave their pre-conceived ideas of their math ability behind, and approach learning with confidence.

Jenna Dore – Numeracy Teacher


Performing Arts Academy – Trash Puppets

On Friday 7 June, our Performing Arts Academy class had the privilege of having Trash Puppets come out and run a workshop with us. Our major project this term is devising an original performance based around the idea of environmental health and the human impact on this.

We discussed puppetry as an art form and the recent sculptures in Europe made entirely of sea garbage as a way of art responding to social issues. During our research, we came across Trash Puppets who run workshops teaching students the art of puppetry and concentrate on human impact of garbage by constructing their puppets entirely from rubbish.

This was not only a fun and engaging workshop artistically for the students but made an impact on them, seeing just how much trash accumulated in a short space of time. A big thank you to Ben from Trash Puppets for a fantastic experience!


Year 9 Japanese Excursion

On the 20 June, the Year 9 Japanese classes gathered to go on an excursion to experience elements of Japan we otherwise would not in a classroom. We travelled to the Consulate General of Japan in the CBD, where they normally handle passports and Visas, but today allowed us to explore Japan’s involvement in the science of robotics.

We started by exploring examples of Japanese robots in pop culture like Astro Boy and Gundahm. From there we looked real-life robots and Japans technological advancements to make them move, walk, speak, and even detect emotion. They showed us a therapy animal robot known as Paro as an example one of the many ways that Japans advancements in robotics is applied in the real world. The Seal-like robot is commonly used in retirement homes in place of a therapy animal. It was fun seeing the divided reactions to Paro; some of us found it quite cute, and others were very unnerved.

To finish off the day, we then travelled to Glen Waverly to eat some authentic Japanese food at a restaurant called Waya, which was delicious! Overall, the excursion was a fun exploration of an aspect of Japan that we have not been exposed to before.

Aaron Borg – Year 9


Kyara-Ben Obento Box

Last week we had the opportunity to experience making our very own Kyara-Ben Japanese obento box (Kyara=character, ben =lunchbox).

On the day, two ladies from Harepeko Kids taught us how to create the obento boxes. The ladies provided us with all the equipment: food products, seaweed shape cutters, tweezers (to help place the edible face features), and a box to put our obento creations in. Once we were at our cooking tables, I could see a lot of people were excited to get started, and also excited to eat their creation. When we started preparing, we were all instructed to create two cute bear characters as the main attraction in our obentos. While we were creating these obento characters, we were all smiling and laughing at each other’s creations.

My classmates and felt this was a very fun and enjoyable task. We were so excited for this event and hopefully there will be more of these events to come. I would encourage everyone to pick Japanese as a language to learn about.

Isabelle Toma, Year 8


Careers at Officer Campus

Welcome to Careers at Officer Campus. Students have access to a counsellor Mrs Patricia Pryce every Friday and are welcome to contact her directly ( to book an appointment. These appointments can be used to discuss subject options, pathways into TAFE or University, resume writing and interview techniques. There is also a LibGuide page which can be accessed via SIMON on the Student Links page under Careers. This includes a huge amount of information that students can access on a range of different supportive material.

Students are also encouraged to access websites such as MyFuture and Job Outlook. These are useful websites which assist students in planning for the future. VTAC provides useful information about courses from both University and TAFE providers in regard to the level of education required and pre-requisite subjects.

Siobhan Thomas – Careers Teacher


Introducing Thalia Simmons

Interests: I enjoy doing anything involving creativity. I love drawing, photography and doing watercolour paintings. I enjoy fitness activities such as running, swimming and long-distance walking. My favourite actor is Jennifer Lawrence. I love all kinds of animals, especially cats. I am a lover of nature. I enjoy learning Japanese and hope to be able to speak it fluently one day. I like to do public speaking. I enjoy all my classes however English and Japanese are two of my favourites. I love spending time with my family and friends.

Ambitions: I want to do nursing as a career, as every day at work will be different. The hospital environment has always interested me as does nursing because it provides opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives. I am an active person, so the hospital environment would suit me best as you are always moving around as opposed to other jobs where you must sit at a desk all day.

Involvement in St Francis Xavier College: I have participated in house activities such as dance, athletics, cross-country, debating and house mass. I assisted with the Year 7 2018 Orientation Day. I have participated in SIS activities including Theatresports and Book in a Day. I did the Australian Mathematics Competition in Year 8 and I performed with the Choir at Cabaret Night. I completed the lead your life leadership and personal development program. I was also a part of student Learning Culture Investigators and the Social Justice Team. This year I am looking forward to competing in Tournament of the Minds.


Introducing Osanda Wewalwala

Interests: In my spare time I enjoy playing music; I find it relaxing as well as entertaining. Since the school year started I haven’t had much spare time, so whenever I do get free time I’m usually just relaxing. My favourite subject in school is maths because I find it easy to understand and enjoy developing logical thinking skills. I also enjoy English because I enjoy being able to creatively express my thoughts on paper.

Ambitions: In the future I would like to study Biomedical Engineering at Melbourne University. I enjoy doing the more logical thinking subjects and therefore I think that this career path would well suit me. As an occupation I would like to do something in the field of Science or STEM. I will continue to practice Japanese as I think it is important to be able to speak multiple languages.

Involvement in St Francis Xavier College: I enjoy working in teams towards a common goal. I have been involved in the academic extra curricula activities such as the da Vinci Decathlon and Tournament of Minds. I also enjoy Debating; SIS Debating, DAV Debating and House Debating. I enjoy discussing important issues so that conflicts are resolved in an equitable (and non-violent way).

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